Monday, 3 February 2014
Film #19: Yella (12)
Directed by: Christian Petzold
This is a difficult film to describe without giving the entire game away, so this post will be pretty short. In an attempt to shake off Ben, her ex, Yella (Nina Hoss) leaves her home town and starts a new accounting job in Hanover. When that doesn’t pan out, she takes up with Philipp – a seemingly decent guy who works for a slightly shady investment company – in a working relationship that could turn into something more meaningful and personal.
But Ben – who flips from pathetic and needy to chilling and intimidating – simply refuses to give up, following her wherever she goes. As her work with Philipp develops, she adopts a tougher, business-like persona, with some unfortunate consequences. And through it all she seems to be haunted by recurring sounds and images of water. Is she imagining things? Losing her grip on reality through fear of her ex? Nina Hoss gives a nicely understated and often silent performance in this disorientating story. Not recommended if you’re after action and clear plot development, but otherwise well worth a look.